The next adventure

Eleven years ago this summer, John and I packed up our bags and headed off on our very first adoption trip, to Korea to adopt our precious new son. He was four months old when he came home.

A year and a half later, I headed for Korea again for a second adoption, our adorable little guy who was 20 months on homecoming. Our little boys were 2 months and 20 days apart.

Each time we have taken a child away from the country in which they were born, we have done so with mixed emotions. We are so delighted to be adding another family member,  so glad that in adding to our family, we could also be family to a child who doesn’t have one. And yet as that plane takes off, we are always aware of the loss mixed in with the joy. In coming to America, these children are giving up the culture in which they were born. With each adoption we have vowed to bring the child back at some point, so that they can meet some of the people who took care of them and learn more about the country in which they were born.

That time has come for our two boys. We’ve been talking about this adventure for years.  We bought tickets back in November.  We’ve even been able to arrange visits with the boys’ foster mothers.

But I woke up this morning and realized that our Korea trip is a mere 3 weeks away.  Time to get out the suitcases, to make lists, to begin our final preparations.   What an adventure we are about to have!

Coming in the next few days:
How we decided to adopt
How we were able to afford adoption– five different times!

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  1. Beautifully put! And I totally know that feeling… the one that’s so hard to explain to those that haven’t been in my shoes…. the excitement of returning to the US… a land of running water, regular electricity and forks!! But yet I was fully aware that my beautiful 5 month old son was going to be so scared… away from everything and everyone he’d ever known. That feeling, as a new mother, of wanting to take that fear from my sweet little boy so he didn’t have to feel it. Uggg… I felt so helpless.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I’m really looking forward to reading your posts that you are planning to share – especially about being able to afford adoption. I’ve had adoption on my heart for a very, very long time. I’m praying that we can make it work but it’s taking some convincing on hubby’s part I think. I can’t wait to hear about your trip! 😉

    I started reading your blog when you went on your Compassion Trip.

  3. How amazing this trip will be for all of you! I cannot wait to read all that you will share.
    Safe Travels!

  4. I’m so eager to hear how you managed to afford adoption so many times! It’s something I’m interested in (either international or US), but it seems so very expensive and complicated.

  5. Mary, I have chills up and down. This is wonderful. I loved those photos… especially the smile on your face and love in your eyes!


  6. Perfect!

  7. I really appreciate how you are taking your sons back to see their birth culture. I think that is so important for their own growth and self identity. I am looking forward to your upcoming posts.

  8. I’m so excited for you and the boys! What a great adventure for you all!

  9. I’m looking forward to your other posts about adoption – I have a burden in my heart for foster adoption…probably not until a few years down the road, and only when/if my hubby gets on board. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Also – my 2nd baby is due in Dec. & he/she will be 2 yrs & around 7 days younger than my son. 🙂

  10. Really looking forward to hearing all about this trip! We hope to do the same for our daughters someday…
    And I understand your feelings about taking your child away from their birth culture. So many well-meaning people tell us how lucky our children are to be living in the US, and they don’t seem to “get it” when we try to explain the losses as well…

  11. Read this with tears bubbling up in my eyes and in my throat as I read it aloud to my oldest. Our heart is still tender to adopt at some point. Praying we will be obedient and pursue it in God’s timing.

    Looking forward to hearing more!

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I’m excited to hear more about your adoption experiences, as you promised 🙂 at the end of this post. My husband and I have, since before we were married, talked about adopting, but have no idea how to afford it. We even tried to adopt while we were spending a year in China, doing mission work, but I was too young at the time for China’s standards!

  13. Mary, Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I have always wanted to adopt and probably will once my son is a little older. I can’t wait to read your future posts, as being able to afford adoption is one thing that puzzles me. I also can’t wait to hear about your future trip. I can only imagine the emotions that you and your sons will be going through. Thank you so much for sharing. Dawn

  14. Jennifer says:

    How incredibly exciting for all of you. Will be praying for safe travels for your family and joyous reunions. The boys have grown up to be handsome young men – and they even look like twins!

  15. I can’t wait to follow along as you return to Korea.

  16. How exciting!

    We’ve had financial cut backs like crazy around here and needs to buy… so I haven’t been able to buy your book yet. I hope to get to this summer, but hs curric needs might get in the way. Anyway, a friend has it (on her Kindle) and says I’d love it because of the adoption ‘stuff’. I would LOVE to adopt. My verywanddh says, “I’m not against it, I’m just not for it yet”.

  17. Wonderful story! I can’t wait to hear more. Good luck with the list and the packing! That’s the part I hate about a trip. But everything else is just icing!

  18. what a thrilling journey for you and your very big boys! i adore Korea, so much to do and see, though this trip will be much more than a mere sightseeing opportunity. you know i’ll be following right along. can you believe it’s already been three years ago that I took parker back?

    look at you in your white hat, so girlish, on your first adoption.

    has everyone read your Fingerprint story? it might be time to repost that one 🙂

  19. Can’t wait for the new posts about adoption. I’ve read your book and my question to you is (maybe you could include it in a post) how did your husband go from “being done” at four and agreeing to give you the fingerprint for the background check for your first adoption… and then adopting FIVE more times??

    Just wondering what those conversations were like and was it just the first adoption that sold him on the rest? There is a big jump from praying for unity to having six more kids.

    I was curious how it worked for your family – I know it’s not a “one size fits all” experience.

  20. Looking forward to this!

  21. wonderful…and btw- you have a whole OTHER career as a photographer. great shots.

  22. What wonderful things you have given your children. Not only the obviously loving home you share with them all, but the opportunity to go on such an exciting trip and create everlasting memories.

  23. What showed you guys that this was the right time for your boys to go visit? Just wondering what types of thins you considered, so I can file it away in my brain for our future.